Tag Archives: Vivek Bhasin

Mike King: Another precious letter

Attached is a letter from Mike King’s father, Charles King, to his youngest brother Noel who left BCS in 1934 to move to England with his parents. He was a Captain in the British Airborne Forces and saw action at the Battle of Arnhem and was actually present at the Japanese surrender in Rangoon in 1945.
Love, terrible Wars…
and then Peace….
Finally a Servant of the Almighty
Amen
Vivek Bhasin
Lefroy 1961-1970
[click for full view]

The Mike King letters [Mike King : the Son of “A son of BCS”]

Mike King a very dear friend of mine based in the UK is a die-hard fanatic of BCS! Even though he could not go to BCS his Father and Uncles did.

Mike regularly attends the OCA (UK) reunions and stays in touch with me regularly, sending snippets of excellent news and information strongly focused on BCS which I enjoy thoroughly. It is Mike and his present family who managed to , over the years retrieve these fantastic gems of letters his Father and Uncles wrote to their parents whilst residing as Boarders in BCS.

Mike King now 70 last April, was educated at Durham School  England.

He Served with the City of London Police (UK) before transferring to the Toronto Police in 1975. Specialising in organised crime investigations, his work was featured in several books. He spent two years with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) before entering the private sector and then spent 25 years engaged in commercial investigations around the world. He took part in film documentaries about organised crime and acted as a consultant in two separate productions. He contributed a chapter to noted Indian author Shrabani Basu’s book entitled India Revisited in which he wrote about his ancestor’s lives in India and his father’s respect for the great contribution of the Indian Forces in two world wars – never to be forgotten.

As for languages, Mike is modest, and speaks a little French, German, Spanish and Cantonese.


The following boys (all Cottonians)  were the sons of Mr. WH King MBE FRGS who was, himself, born and brought up in India. He was a renowned engineer who built the telegraph line from Gyantse to Lhasa in 1922 which linked Tibet to the outside world.

William King (Uncle of Mike King)  – born in Gilgit. Graduated in Agriculture at the University of Alberta, Canada.  Lt. Col. British Army – killed in action on Normandy landings 1944.

Charles King (Father of Mike King) – born in Bhatinda. School Captain  BCS 1928. Graduated in Theology at the University of Cambridge. Wartime Chaplain to the Forces. Prisoner of War in Poland and Germany 1940-1945. Died in Church service in 1972. ( some fantastic letters/postcard follow)!

John King  (Uncle of Mike King) – born in Poona died in 1984 aged 65. Fl. Lt. RAF – WW2 escaper from Crete and member of the elite Caterpillar Club (RAF Escaping Society).

Hereward King  (uncle of Mike) – born in Mussoorie. Served in the Royal Navy in WW2. Advertising executive. Died 1976.

Capt. Vivek C Bhasin
Norra Strandgatan-2
SE 652 24 Karlstad
Sweden

The following attachments can clicked to be opened in a full view page:

Vivek,
More letters and postcards from my father and his brother to their parents sent from BCS. It was nearly 100 years ago!
Best regards,
Mike.

These invaluable letters bring a sense of the greatest elation in me and  that I was one of the privileged sons like all my fellow Cottonians  of BCS.
Best wishes
Vivek [Bhasin]

Part of the Soul Train – by Vivek Bhasin

Part of the Soul Train

One-Six-ZERO ( 1 6 0 )

…is no ordinary number

is no simple number

is not that a complicated number 

is not a serious number 

is not a humorous number.

… it is a number that signifies

something more special than ordinary simpleness complicatedness and seriousness. Possibly with some humour but something more.

The speciality of the number 

may be linked to many things,

like an amazing book written by a world renowned story teller that climaxes on the 160th page, it could be a number of days starting the 1st of January until the 9th of June totalling 160

or perhaps the number of steps I once took at the age of 12 from the Lefroy House dorms to the Chapel door.

In the parlance of old english it is 8-score years is it not? I mean the number 160!

But for you and I, ONE SIX ZERO  is a definitive milestone.

If I recollect the many milestones in my life I can state I was born 64 years ago, the first stone ! I started schooling at my Alma mater 59 years ago, I passed out from my Alma mater 49 years ago and I attained Command of my own vessel called the “ LONTUE” (named after a river in Chile) at the age of 29; this was 35 years ago and so on.

Ten years ago in October 2009  a very special congregation of souls took place up in the Himalayas … on a spur where stands a handsome set of buildings, a gorgeous Chapel, flats and woods. These souls arrived from every corner of the planet to reignite, remember, reconstruct and push back age boundaries. The souls returned to be young again, to feel young again and use slang and jargon which was part of the traditional way one spoke to each other; with nick names that actually should have been registered and stamped into their passports; these names stuck on like magic glue and for many are sacred. Even their wives and girl friends and mothers call them by these names. Yes those names make these souls unique under one breath under blue skies and the bright sun that drenches this Handsome Beautiful Space.

Yes Ma’am, Yes Sir! 

This Handsome Beautiful Space belongs to us souls. It is where our stories started and it is where our stories will continue, never ending ….for there will be other souls who will arrive and understand the magic of our space as they write and weave the myriad patterns from the power of the buildings, The Chapel, the flats and the woods. 

And a sense of brotherhood will emerge…

Ten Years later …

On July 28th 2019, our most sacred space would be 160 years since …

….and yet The Buildings, The Chapel , The Flats and The Woods will not burst into song or tremble with joy and shiver with excitement. No no… they will just be where they are looking at those who’ve gone before, to those who are there and those who’ve yet to come… 

silently they will stay…perhaps a wind will rustle the leaves of the Grand Oak. the Weeping Willows, the Cedars , the Chestnuts and  Pines , and on certain monsoon days the clouds will descend as you brush against them like huge balls of cotton until the rain comes down and cleanses away the pollen; the snow will hunker down over winter and melt away as “our” tears. 

…but then Blue Skies and Glorious Sunshine again…

Perhaps this next Saturday 28th July 2019 I will get down on my knees in some quiet place and Thank You all, 

Thank our Founder 

Bishop Cotton, 

Thank Head Master, 

Thank my Teachers, 

Thank the Bearers, 

Thank my Seniors, 

Thank My Class of 1970, 

Thank My Brother,  

Thank My Juniors, 

Thank My Parents for sending me to my Alma mater,

and Thank the Handsome Buildings, 

The Chapel, 

The Flats and 

The Woods 

that give me that energy, hope and drive to continue my life..

Happy Birthday 

Our Bishop Cotton School !!

Our Sacred Space.

We belong to you,

Just as

You belong to Us.

((Whenever I visit this sacred place I always make it point to walk the 160 steps to the Chapel .. 

I do sometimes tremble and shiver…

But when I look at The Good Shepherd with his flock ..

I feel a calm descending within my soul, a sense of peace prevails..

until my next time ..))

Vivek Bhasin 

Class of 1970

Lefroy 1961-1970

OC Capt. Vivek Bhasin’s [Lefroy 1970] visit to BCS

Sent by email to Head Master

Tuesday 02nd April 2019

Head Master
Roy Robinson Esq;
Bishop Cotton School
Simla.

Dear Roy,

Good Evening Sir.

I wish to express my utmost gratitude to you for giving me permission to visit School today 02nd April 2019 to address the Assembly and read today’s lesson from Paul’s Chapter 12.

Further you allowing me to hold a Q&A session with the Upper Sixth. I do hope I managed to give back something, something minutely to the young lads from my global travels and experiences. I trust the spark I lit will be a small positive contribution to their journey today and further when they leave the sacred sanctuary of BCS, entering the “Big Jungle” of a frightening world out there.

It was indeed an emotional reading in the Chapel ; you have been most kind to have always welcomed me to School; also my wife Ann-Sofie, my son Dhani.

You opened the gates to my daughter Radhika and her fiancé Daniel in March 2010; they being BLESSED in our School Chapel prior to their wedding nuptials at Neemrana Fort on 4th April 2010.

You even sent four of your well trained racing pigeons which were released by Radhika on 5th April, the day after her wedding. Three flew back to Bishop Cotton School; one decided to convert to a free spirit and spread good tidings in another free space.

Today I came as a representative of my Class of 1970; we would be celebrating our Golden Jubilee in 2020 and with your kind permission would like to coordinate this in School as per your suggestions and directive.

I was delighted to see continuous improvements in the School, being done with great fervour.

I departed from School today with more humility in my heart, to do good in the world.. always as an Ambassador of Bishop Cotton School.

I would also like to Thank Senior Master Mr Boyd and Mr Praveen Dharma for giving me so much of their time today.

With Warmest Regards and Every Best Wish Sir.

Vivek

Capt. Vivek Bhasin
Lefroy 1961-1970
E: Vivek@SharperEdgeIndia.com
E: +91 98995 61236

—Mr Robinson’s reply–
From: Roy Robinson 
Date: Tue, 2 Apr 2019 at 20:26
Re: Old Cottonian Vivek Bhasin / Visiting BCS 02 April 2019
To: Vivek Bhasin 
Cc:
Mr Anil Mehra 
Mr Davinder Jaaj 
Mr Deep C.Anand Chairman 
Surinder Singh Saron 


Dear Vivek,


It is always a pleasure having you and all well-meaning Cottonians back in school to interact with those currently studying here. 


Warm regards,
Roy

I imagine…

I imagine ….

“The thing I imagine myself being in the future doesn’t exist yet” as I know there is a check list of unfinished business that I need to do in today’s world before I enter the lofty gates of tomorrow’s future.

My elders always talk about “those good old days, those golden days” when time moved at an intelligent pace, a slow wonderful pace. It was a time where every meal was a slow ritual; when every meal was home cooked and my elders enjoyed both culinary delights and healthy conversations. A letter from my Grand Father that took weeks to arrive with the postage stamp of a dancing Peacock was the best happening of the day; the envelope was slit open with a beautiful paper cutter and all around the table stretched their necks with eyes wide open to stare in awe at the beautiful calligraphy on ivory paper, the style of grammar and news from the provinces where the folks lived…

Today the rapid pace is a never ending race against time, levels of stress have reached another dimension. Where the average time spent looking at the screen of a mobile smart phone is three hours a day; it’s not the want of food, nor drink to quench your hunger but the desperation to inform your million face book friends about your every move( friends? really…?).
To quench their thirst with electronic jargon, not whole wheat bread and a thick slice of cheese; the latter is a minority against the power of the mobile that controls our lives.

But enough is enough. 

For me to enter the lofty gates into the future will only happen if I can garner both knowledge and global awareness on working collectively, to slow down our pace, reduce our workloads, and align the Weather Gods to perform their tasks with logical clarity. I want the four seasons to be fantastically beautiful, I want to make sure every weekend is utilised to its fullest with a connect to the great outdoors, away from steel traffic, pollution, abnormal heat and dust, so I can cross the street and all traffic will stop for me, not run over me, where overtime in a Business Process Outsourced office is abolished and the lights switched off at 5.00pm. Where the world dances to happy tunes and I see a green garden where my grand parents look at me as I walk “ slowly “ towards them..
knowing I have so much time to expend on feel, touch and smell, lying on my back to see white fluffy clouds sailing against a blue sky.

In Bishop Cotton School my Head Master R.K von Goldstein read Shakespeare which related to life’s various quests … hope, dreams, love , romance and even gruesome murders and death ..so I could think about what I should expect moving forward, questions that needed to be disseminated and understood with clarity which we expressed in slow soft clear English writing with Doric Pens dipped in Quink ink..

It’s the simplicity of life that I will strive to achieve in my world today so my children enjoy a more beautiful futuristic world tomorrow. Only then, only then.

*****

(Vivek) Bhasin
Lefroy 1961-1970